Tampa Bay welcomes Hawaiian poke franchise Pokéworks

The first of three aims to launch in February.

click to enlarge Pokéworks offers a customizable menu of create-your-own poke burritos, bowls and salads. - Courtesy of Pokéworks
Courtesy of Pokéworks
Pokéworks offers a customizable menu of create-your-own poke burritos, bowls and salads.


Pokéworks, the Hawaiian-inspired poke franchise, has agreed to open three locations in the Tampa area. The first aims to launch at 2734 E. Fowler Ave. in February.

Founded in NYC’s Midtown Manhattan in 2015, Pokéworks offers a customizable menu of create-your-own poke burritos, bowls and salads, as well as signature builds. Each selection is dressed with “unique regional options” and an array of proteins, sauces and other toppings.

There’s no shortage of items for gluten- and nut-free, vegan or vegetarian diners to order at the counter, either.

click to enlarge The franchise's El Paso, Texas, outpost. - Courtesy of Pokéworks
Courtesy of Pokéworks
The franchise's El Paso, Texas, outpost.

Brothers Michael Wu and Peter Yang dreamed up Pokéworks with college pals Kevin Hsu and Kasper Hsu. They took many trips to Hawaii — for research purposes, of course — to perfect their vision of convenience and affordability.

“Tampa is an ideal market to develop the Pokéworks concept in due to its strong demographics and urban setting, which represents vital elements key to our brand,” said co-founder Kevin in a statement. “We are excited to be able to bring the first Pokéworks location to Tampa and are confident it will become a go-to spot for the community to enjoy healthy and delicious alternatives, while also feeling great about what they’re eating.”

The franchise’s recent growth includes more than 130 signed development deals. But at the moment, it operates almost 30 outposts around North America, including Vancouver.

In addition to Tampa, Pokéworks has Florida locations headed for Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Orlando and Jacksonville.

“As a ‘relative’ to the sushi segment, which has exploded nationally throughout mainstream, we are excited to develop poke into Tampa with Pokéworks at the leading edge of the curve in this rapidly growing space,” Kevin added.

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